XTRA Decides returns for the Eurovison 2022 season! In this feature the team here at ESCXTRA rank the national final songs, giving our choice of the winner. We are ranking the songs using the Eurovision style 12-1 scoring system. Today we decide our winner of Albania’s Festivali i Këngës national selection.
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|Ronela Hajati – “Sekret”||113|
|Alban Ramosaj – “Theje”||77|
|Ester Zahiri – “Hijena”||65|
|Kejsi Rustja – “Vallezoj me ty”||62|
|Mirud – “Per Dreq”||58|
|Viola Xhemali – “Eja Si ere”||38|
|Kelly – “Meteor”||29|
|Olimpia Smajlaj – “Dua”||29|
|Rezarta Smaja – “E jemja nuse”||23|
|Evi Reci – “Me duaj||19|
|Janex – “Deluzional”||19|
|Gjergj Kacinari – “Ne enderr mbete ti”||14|
|Xhuliana Pjetra “Balade”||14|
|Urban Band – “Padrejtesti”||11|
|Eldis Arrnjeti – “Refuzoj”||4|
|Shega – “Nje”||4|
|Endri & Stefi – “Triumfi i jetes”||1|
|Denis Skura – Pse nuk flet mama?”||0|
|Kastro Zizo – “Kuje”||0|
|Sajmir Çili – “Nen Maske”||0|
There is no secret in me saying that ‘Sekret’ is easily my favourite Albanian song of all time. From that eagle cry, to the tribal Albanian percussion, this is a call to arms! Everything about this just works. Between the layers of Ronela’s vocals and how the song constantly bombards your senses, still it always leaves you wanting more. Also I love how Ronela clearly knows the jury is a factor, so put in that ballad intro section. Most likely that part will be trimmed for Eurovision, but the song is a complete package already. That is of course, if the Albanian jury and orchestra survive this banger assault!
Let’s be real. This song is not done. It needs to be cut, and whatever’s left really needs an overhaul to be ready for the Eurovision stage. But if you’ve followed FiK for a while, you know that that’s okay. At this point so early in the national final season, a song’s potential is just as important as its current state, and that’s where Sekret really shines. It already stands head and shoulders above the rest of the FiK lineup (especially after hearing some rehearsal footage of a certain other front runner). It’s infectiously catchy, has a great beat, and has Albanian flavor through and through. It has great bones, but needs a little direction between now and March, because it’s still a little all over the place. Albania’s revamps are always a coin flip as to how well they’ll turn out, but this has the potential to really bring down the house in Turin.
Tom R (7pts)
I come into the review being the bearer of bad news, I guess. On my first listen to this year’s FiKmas offering, I had “Sekret” placed first. However, after a few listens, things changed. While I enjoy how different this song is from previous Albanian offerings including Karma and Mall, the chorus just doesn’t fall with me. Let it be known that I am not the biggest fan of a drop – and unfortunately, too much of this song belongs in the ‘drop’ zone. It would be a good choice for Albania, I don’t deny that, but it needs a lot of cleaning up if it was to make it to the Eurovision stage. 7 points isn’t bad but in a poor national final, it could be better also.
Xtra Decides so far…
Previously on Xtra Decides:
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